Dear Annie: I am married and have two beautiful children. Recently, I was cleaning out my bedroom
Dear Annie: I am married and have two beautiful children. Recently, I was cleaning out my bedroom closet and found some photos printed off the Internet. One was of a female in trashy lingerie, and the other was of a woman in a sexual position with her hair strategically covering her breasts. I was shocked to find these photos, but even more horrified when I turned over one of the photos and found that my 7-year-old son had traced his handprints on it.
I immediately confronted my husband, and he said he didn't know where the pictures came from and even suggested that my son might have accidentally printed them. I kept at him, and last night, he finally admitted he printed the photos. He said he had never done it before and would never do it again. But I feel betrayed and inadequate. I really believed our marriage was something special.
What should my next step be? If I didn't have children, I would be out the door, but the kids absolutely adore their father. I'm trying very hard to keep my emotions in check so my children won't know there's a problem. I am too embarrassed to talk to my pastor, and don't feel I can trust my friends and family. Can you help me? Heartbroken
Dear Heartbroken: Please try not to overreact. It is not uncommon, nor unusual, for men to look at pictures of women in lingerie or other racy attire. It does not mean he doesn't love you or find you attractive. Two photos of partially covered women is not a reason for divorce, and we urge you not to make too much of this. Frankly, we'd worry more about whether your son's handprints were on the paper before or after Dad printed the pictures. Please try to forgive your husband for his lapse in judgment. We think he deserves another chance.
Dear Annie: My friend "Patty" is the envy of many. At age 45, she is in terrific shape. She eats healthily and exercises religiously. Her "fat" pants are size 4.
Pat's daughter, "Mary," is almost 14 and has recently gotten bigger than her mother. Over the holidays, Mary told her mother that her size 4 pants were too tight, and she wanted bigger pants. Instead, Pat gave her some diet and workout tips. Pat later told me, "I'm not buying her a bigger size just because she won't take care of herself."
I understand Pat only wants the best for her daughter. Is it OK for a mom to decide that her teenage daughter can't get any bigger than a size 4? I feel Mary could be several sizes bigger and still be perfectly healthy. Plus-Size Friend
Dear Friend: If Mary is eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, she needs to be the size her body frame dictates -- not the size Pat wants her to be. And a growing teenage girl needs a higher caloric intake than an adult woman. Suggest to Pat that she discuss this with Mary's pediatrician and perhaps see a nutritionist. The last thing Mary needs is a mother fixated on her weight.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to the letter from "Patriotic Grandma." I am a 17-year-old, patriotic high school senior. I fully support our troops and have great respect for our country. However, I no longer stand for the pledge in school.
When we were first required to recite the pledge, I would do so and put my full heart into it, but standing for the pledge day after day for an entire year began to take the true meaning out of it. I still respect my country. I will still stand for the pledge at sporting events. But when students are forced to recite the pledge of allegiance every single day, they cannot be expected to do so with any genuine feeling. Patriotic Student
Dear Student: We agree that forcing students to recite the same words day after day can sap the feeling from them. Thanks for weighing in.
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